Short takes on the week’s news


Gubernatorial candidates representing Maine’s major political parties have each — one more than the other — canceled commitments to appear at political debates.

To be fair, it seems that more than the usual number of debates have been held in far reaches of the state this year, and maintaining a campaign schedule can be like running a sprint, so it’s a chore for anyone to do it all.

However, it’s hard not to notice that Paul LePage and Libby Mitchell each committed to appear at various debates, and then canceled.

Most recently, GOP candidate LePage canceled his commitment to the Maine Public Broadcasting Network debate held at Bates College on Thursday night. It was a date he agreed to last August, and an event that he must have known at the time could be before a hostile crowd.

He’s canceled seven other appearances, too, at debates hosted by the University of Maine at Machias and the Maine Municipal Association, among others.

Democratic candidate Mitchell has canceled her own share of appearances, including debates hosted by the Maine Pulp and Paper Association and by a Bangor economic development group, where she was sure to confront a hostile crowd displeased with her record on business development.

To be clear, they each canceled these invitations after agreeing to appear, which is something quite different from passing on invitations at the start.

In contrast, independent candidate Eliot Cutler has met his debate commitments. That doesn’t mean he committed to every one, just that when he did commit to something, he followed through and actually appeared.

In this campaign season, when candidates of all stripes make commitments to accomplish all manner of things, any Mainer who believes commitments are an important measure of character should take note of who among the candidates fulfills their commitments.

Life is hard. And life in the Blaine House is going to be really hard for the incoming governor.

We need someone in office who doesn’t walk away from difficult obligations.


A woman coaching the boys’ varsity basketball team at Dirigo High School?

How cool is that?

Rebecca Fletcher has been appointed the varsity boys’ basketball coach at Dirigo High School, earning the top job for a very accomplished ball program.

She deserves it.

Fletcher is a Dirigo grad, playing basketball in the mid-1990s when the school’s teams began to win their 11-straight Western Class C titles.

She went on to graduate from the University of Maine at Farmington, where she decided coaching was in her blood and would be part of her long-term career.

Fletcher has learned the ropes at Dirigo in good hands, those of coaching legend Gavin Kane. She’s earned the job, and we wish this Cougar well.

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